India on Saturday called for a strong and aligned international cooperation on the return of fugitive offenders and assets sought for such offences, consistent with international obligations and domestic legal systems.
Union Minister Jitendra Singh stressed on the need while addressing the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) Special Session on Challenges and Measures to fight Corruption.
Singh said as the accused take shelter in foreign countries and conceal the proceeds of crime in complex legal structures spread over different countries and jurisdictions, the gaps and weaknesses of international cooperation in this area are fully exploited by such fugitives to their advantage.
The Minister conveyed India’s appreciation to all the countries who are taking this fight ahead in the right direction by intensifying efforts, sustaining political commitment and decisive action, at all levels, against preventing and combating corruption by way of endorsing the United Nations Political declaration.
“India provides Mutual Legal Assistance to widest possible extent and it has strengthened its domestic law and widened the scope for international cooperation with contracting states and international organisations,” Singh said.
He said that the UNGA Session is happening at a time when Covid-19 is testing our patience and testing the limits of all of us at enduring misery.
“This is indeed the most appropriate time to come together and strengthen international cooperation to prevent and combat corruption.”
Mentioning that India has a zero-tolerance policy towards corruption and the moto of the Indian government, given by the Prime Minister, is ‘minimum government, maximum governance with emphasis on transparency and citizen centricity.
“With an aim of decentralizing decision-making and bridging communities with local governments across cities and towns, innovative solutions are being implemented using digital tools in all sectors affecting the livelihoods of citizens.”
While concluding his address, Singh wished for a steadfast and strong commitment to combating the menace of corruption especially in these times of crisis and reiterated that India is ready to work with other countries, civil society and international organizations to accelerate the implementation of anti-corruption principles.